The COVID-19 crisis has affected every aspect of everyday life, and while there is a wealth of information regarding how to keep yourself healthy, there isnt that much information about keeping your FICO score healthy.
After all, with all the turmoil created by this virus, it is best for consumers to have some credit available credit for emergencies.
Having a good credit score is imperative during times of crisis.
Assess Your Resources
The beginning of any strategy is having the knowledge of what you have to work with
Do you have a small nest egg or any accumulated reserves, that you can tap into should you need to use them?
Once you have a total sum of all your resources, it’s time to convert that money into time, that is, make out just how much of that money you can spend per month and for how long it will last you.
Also keep in mind that the CARES act also helps provide some relief to one’s situation, not just in the form of direct economic incentives, but also allowing you to request forbearance on your mortgages for up to 180 days.
Once the amount of money you have available is clear, it’s time to cut back on costs.
Also it is important to use your credit cards sparingly.
Cancel Your Gym Subscription
With the lock-down in effect, it is very unlikely that your local gym or other fitness services are going to be even close to open, so why would you continue to pay the fees for a service you are not making use of?
It might seem a little petty, as the average gym costs around $40 per month, but that money could make all the difference in the world on the long run.
Let’s consider the price above, if you are paying $40 per month, that’s $480 per year, plus annual fees!
The verdict is clear, you stand more to lose from keeping your gym subscription than you would from maintaining it, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo fitness all together.
You can always try any number of home exercises that cost nothing but time and effort.
Cancel Entertainment Subscriptions
Just how many streaming services do you need?
Can any of them be replaced by a free alternative? These are the questions that you absolutely need to be making right now.
This can be a harsh thing to do, specially if you have children at home, but this is about ensuring the welfare of yourself and those you love. So think about what are the entertainment services that drain most resources and compare to which are used the most.
If you see, for example that your cable subscription is the most expensive and no one in the house has switched it on in months, it’s time to do the sensible thing and give your provider that dreaded call.
Also think about which services deliver the most on what you pay, so if you have two streaming services that charge $15 but you only use one of them for a specific show, it should probably go as well.
Put off Non-Essential spending
If you were planning on buying a new bike or those beautiful shoes you have been flirting with for a month, I have some bad news for you.
This is a time for tightening your belt, so anything that does not have to do with your household’s immediate necessities like food, electricity, heating, water and so on should be put off for the time being.
Sometimes a new computer can mean going over the limit of your credit card or delaying the payment of some fees, and in normal circumstances that would not be an issue, but these are not normal circumstances and everyone has to make sacrifices to get by.
Suspend non-essential services
If you have anyone tending to your garden, or cleaning the house for you, it’s time to have talk to them. This might not be a fun experience, in fact it can be an extremely difficult thing to do, but if you are going to keep yourself afloat in a time of crisis, you’ll have to do it.
Once again, by “non-essential” we mean anything that is not absolutely necessary for the welfare of the household, but also anything that you can do yourself.
You can probably moan your own lawn, clean your own pool, wash your own dishes, and the lock-down means you’ll have time to do it too.
You might be wondering whether even worrying about your FICO score is wise when the world is undergoing a health and economic crisis. The answer is simple, it’s especially because of this hard times that you need every advantage you can get.
A good FICO score means that if an unpredictable situation occurs you have the financial parachute to deal with financial issues without having to worry as much about its damage to your economic well-being. See these tips and tricks to maintaining and raising your FICO score quickly and easily.
Interesting related article: “What is Credit History?“